Step Outside - Indiana WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 http://stepoutside.org/ Step Outside - Indiana 144 144 http://stepoutside.org/ https://cdnstep-americantownscom.netdna-ssl.com/img/stepoutside_logo.gif Tue, 26 Mar 2019 16:05:41 -0500 10 Best Ski Destinations for Families in and Around Indiana One may not always think first of the Midwest when it comes to excellent skiing options. In Indiana and surrounding states, you’ll find luxurious resorts and wonderfully-maintained slopes perfect for a family getaway. If you’re considering a family skiing vacation this year, put these 10 destinations on your list! 

One might not think that Indiana would be known for its skiing but believe it or not, the Corn State offers not one, but two, ski resorts. The first destination is Paoli Peaks, located in southern Indiana. Paoli Peaks has been the go-to destination in Indiana for skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing since it first opened in 1978. If it’s your first time skiing, never fear. Paoli Peaks offers lessons for beginners, including the kids. They also offer what are known as “adaptive” lessons in which those with disabilities can experience the thrill of snow sports as well!

The next stop for skiing in Indiana is Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The resort is located on the southeastern side of Indiana, almost near the Indiana/Ohio border, and it offers some of the most beautiful slopes one could imagine. There are dozens of trails to choose from, some more difficult than others but all trails are marked with colored flags. A race course is also available, as well as a food court stand, equipment rental shop, and so much more! The resort also offers lessons for beginners and those with disabilities.

When you visit Mad River Mountain Ski Resort in Zanesfield, Ohio, the first thing on your list should be the Avalanche Tubing Park. Featuring 10 lanes at 1,000 feet long, it’s Ohio’s largest tubing park! Visitors can also partake in the adult race league, junior race program, or the NASTAR, which stands for national standard race and is the largest grassroots ski racing program in the world. It’s designed for all ages, it’s fun, competitive, and easily accessible. This is a great way for racers of all ages and abilities to compare their results with other competitors across the country. Be sure to check it out. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Aspen Ski and Board (@aspenskiandboard) on

Another great place to go skiing in Ohio is the Boston Mills Brandywine Ski Resort in Peninsula, Ohio. At this resort, night skiing is a popular activity, as is taking a shot at the Tiger Run, which is the steepest slope in the state. Be sure to check out their Women’s Snow Discovery, which is skiing and snowboarding lessons for women. Enjoy camaraderie in a laid-back environment as you learn to ski and snowboard. Want to learn some fancy new tricks? Be sure to check out the resort’s Freestyle Boot Camp, where you can learn airs, grabs, spins, and more!

Welcome to your second home! Located near Chicago with an amazing view of the Mississippi River is the Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena, Illinois. The resort is open year-round (even during the summer) and there are so many activities to participate in! Plow through Chestnut’s 19 ski slopes and snowboarding trails and let your cares fall away. The resort gives visitors a fantastic view of the mountain’s 475-foot vertical drop, and 3,500-foot slopes. And not to worry. The resort even offers “Powder Playcare” for those who have children too young to be out on the slopes.

Another great place for skiing in Illinois is Four Lakes Alpine Snowsports. The resort has been in operation for over 50 years. Four Lakes is the place to learn, enjoy, and challenge yourself. Here at Four Lakes, it’s all about the “anyone can do” attitude. Their amazing staff is available and ready to teach visitors how to ski or snowboard and before you take off, they have all visitors go through Snowsports School to ensure you are properly prepared! Come for a weekend getaway, bring the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, or have your next birthday party here! 

Michigan is well known for its abundance of snow and ski resorts. The first place on your list should be Swiss Valley Jones Ski and Snowboard Area. The resort opened in 1968 and started with 122 pairs of rental skis. Now, they have over 2,000 pairs of rental skis and over 500 snowboards to offer visitors. The resort now offers four rope tows, two quads, and one triple chairlift. Night skiing is also popular in this area. Come into the Fireside Lounge after a long day of skiing or snowboarding and unwind with live music and of course a great cup of hot chocolate! Be sure to check out their Progressive Lessons which teach advanced skiers and boarders everything from dance floor, park etiquette, storm drain and more!

View this post on Instagram

πŸ‘‹πŸΌπŸ’™

A post shared by 🌹Ana Moreno Requena (@anamorenorequena) on

Another great place for skiing in Michigan is Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls. The resort is one of many owned by Boyne, and offers 60 slopes and trails for some fantastic skiing this season. The longest slope is one mile, but the entire resort itself is situated on over 400 acres. Take a lesson from one of their Austrian-led ski school instructors. When you’re done with that, check out the zip lines and sail over the gorgeous white blanketed ground. 

One of the best places for skiing is at the Mon du Lac Resort in Superior, Wisconsin, where memories are made. The resort is just 15 minutes south of Duluth, and the resort is a sight to behold. Naturally sculpted by glaciers and nestled among what could only be described as the enchanted forest, this resort is charming and unique, and offers spectacular views of the St. Louis river and Jay Cooke State Park. The longest run here is 3,000 feet. The resort offers eight runs, two-man chair lifts, high-speed tow ropes, and tow rope for the Beginner’s Hill where young and old alike learn to ski. 

Nordic Mountain in Wild Rose, Wisconsin, is the best place for beginners! The resort offers an 80-foot conveyor lift and the ground is shaped to lead you back to the bottom of that same lift. After that is the 200-foot conveyor, which will then take beginners through a course to learn how to control their speed. As you advance to the next steps, you’ll gain confidence and ability and feel as though you are ready to conquer the mountain’s 18 runs! After a long day of learning to ski, be sure to stop in at Nordy’s Pub and have a great beer, followed by some amazing fries and a quick snack!

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-ski-destinations-for-families-in-and-around-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-ski-destinations-for-families-in-and-around-indiana Fri, 01 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0600
11 Best Winter Cabin Camping Spots in Indiana Nothing says winter like being tucked away in a cozy cabin with a warm fireplace, a cup of hot chocolate, and a great book. As the weather changes and the temperature begins to cool, it doesn’t necessarily mean the camping season is over. Instead of enjoying traditional outdoor camping, try one of these 11 best winter camping spots in Indiana instead! 

Nestled in the magnificent hills of southern Brown County State Park is the Abe Martin Lodge. The lodge sits on just over 16,000 acres of beautiful woods and is an absolute gem when it comes to winter camping. The lodge has 160 furnished guest rooms and cabins, along with an indoor aquatic center, full-service restaurant, banquet facilities, cable TV, hiking trails, and horseback riding. The Main Lodge was built in 1932, and its native stone and oak timber still shine bright. Another bright spot: Abe Martin Lodge is now pet-friendly and offers pet friendly, rustic cabins which are heated and have their own private bath and shower.

Little 1.5 hr south weekend getaway to ol Brown County.

A post shared by Josh Lenz (@josh_lenz) on

Nothing beats the KOA experience. Head out to Bluffton, Indiana, this winter for a glorious cabin camping experience perfect for families with young children. The KOA’s cabins are nestled into the beautiful wilderness and feature two-room camping cabins that can sleep up to six people. Find bunk-bed-style sleeping arrangements perfect for kids, and they are pet friendly! 

Head over to Shakamak State Park this winter in beautiful Jasonville, Indiana. Three man-made lakes offer 400 acres of water that surround this amazing spot. Each cabin comes equipped with hot water, something that is a definite must for when it is freezing outside as well as their own private bathroom. You can have a lakeside or more woodsy cabin location, but both are incredible, especially as the weather changes. There are also furnished cabins to choose from as well. 

New Harmony, Indiana, is in the southern part of Indiana. It’s small and quaint, with a friendly atmosphere and gorgeous scenery, which makes it an ideal place for a Sunday drive, a weekend outing, or a long vacation. The landscape ranges from rolling hills to flat floodplains, and it’s the perfect outdoor destination. The campsite has a nature center and a variety of nature programs for the little ones. There are also a variety of attractions nearby, but Harmonie State Park is a place for relaxation. Unwind in one of their quaint, fully-furnished cabins and feel your stress fade away as you listen to the sounds of nature. 

Come stay at the Potawatomi Inn this winter and experience nature at its finest. Located within Pokagon State Park, this beautiful inn not only offers incredible views of wildlife and nature in general, but it also has some of the lowest rates in the area. The inn offers 138 guest rooms, complete with a spacious banquet and conference center. Choose from one of eight historic cabins or one of four cabin suites, which feature living room, dining room, and compact refrigerator. Guests can also choose to stay in one of their suites or historic rooms, which offer amazing views of the lake. 

Weekend getaways

A post shared by A L Y B E N T L E Y (@examplename123) on

Come to southern Bloomington, Indiana, this winter and rent one of the Back to Nature Cabins. Whether you’re planning a family reunion, a girls’ weekend, honeymoon, or another gathering, this is the perfect place to be this winter. Each cabin has a year-round hot tub outside, plus a fire pit, charcoal grill, central heating and air, washer and dryer, as well as a fully-equipped kitchen. 

There is something for everyone here at Wasatch Lake in Poland, Indiana. Wasatch is Native American for “beautiful vista” and it’s the perfect way to describe this winter wonderland. Here at Wasatch Lake, you can go cross country skiing, ice skating, sledding, tobogganing, or curl up in front of your own personal fireplace and do nothing at all! Each cabin is equipped with a full kitchen and bath, linens, and firewood pre-cut for each fireplace. 

Winter camping at its finest! Located on the Ohio River banks in southern Indiana, right near the Kentucky border, are Vinnie’s Ohio River Log Cabins. Each cabin features easy access to the Ohio River, and has its own private hot tub, outdoor fire pit, and gas grill. It’s the perfect place to bring the whole family, or to have a quiet weekend getaway. Watch the sun and moon rise over the beautiful rolling green hills from one of seven different cabins on the property. 

If you are looking for that perfect getaway with your special someone this year, look no further than the Cabins and Candlelight in Colfax, Indiana. Each gorgeous cabin comes with a fully-stocked kitchen, from food to dinnerware and cookware. The cabins sit on over 30 acres of land, and come with a beautiful stone fireplace with gas burning logs, an oversized whirlpool bathtub, entertainment center, oversized shower, covered porch, cathedral ceilings, and much more! It’s the perfect place for a weekend getaway.

Another great place for winter camping in Nashville, Indiana, is the Antler Log Cabin Vacation Rentals. The cabins are in a secluded area near Brown County and come with a brilliant lakefront view. There are also eight different ones to choose from. The Tranquility Cabin has a beautiful view of the clearing and comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, full bath, dining room, and a small sitting area with a gas log fireplace—perfect for curling up on a cold winter’s night.  

“Live the way you were meant to, if even for a little while,” is the motto here at the Forgotten Times Cabins in southern Derby, Indiana. The cabins are a reminder of a forgotten time, before the Civil War and a reminder of a simpler way of life. No matter which cabin you choose, you’ll see the area is filled with wildlife such as deer, wild turkeys, and more. The cabins themselves sit on over 60,000 acres in the Hoosier National Forest. Guests can choose the Pioneer Cabin or the Woodland Cabin, which is a favorite among those who are looking for peace and quiet.

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/11-best-winter-cabin-camping-spots-in-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/11-best-winter-cabin-camping-spots-in-indiana Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0600
7 Best Ski and Snowboard Stores in Indiana Even though there are only two places in Indiana to go skiing or snowboarding, or participating in any kind of snow sports, that doesn’t mean we don’t offer a variety of stores to buy your equipment from! Whether you are headed to the slopes for Christmas or visiting your local park, you’re going to need the best ski and snowboarding equipment. Check out these seven best ski and snowboard stores in Indiana today!

Sun Valley Sports is the place to go in Indianapolis for all your outdoor sport’s needs, specifically skiing and snowboarding. They offer custom boot fitting because boots are the most important piece of equipment one can have when snowboarding or skiing, and they guarantee the boot fit. They also assist customers in finding the perfect skis as well. When it comes to snowboards, Sun Valley has one of the largest selections in the country, and everything is given the “seal of approval” before being sold. Be sure to check out their Junior Trade-in program as well!

The Ski Pole is the best place in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to buy snow equipment. Family owned and operated since 1976, this store prides itself on providing exceptional customer service and incredible products. The Ski Pole offers a wide assortment of products, from Volkl skis and Burton snowboards, in addition to stylish and warm apparel. You can also purchase boot bags, board bags, ski racks and bags, as well as wax and waxing equipment. The store also offers custom boot fittings and ski and snowboard prep to make sure your equipment is ready for the slopes!

The Ski Train Depot in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, has been providing Hoosiers with the best of the best since 1996. Offering new and used ski/snowboard equipment, this is the place to go. The customer service is amazing, and the staff is extremely knowledgeable. The shop offers custom boot fittings and expert advice based on individual needs. They also offer a trade-in program, daily rentals, tune-ups, and the junior program, in which you can exchange the original purchased skis for half the cost. Before you leave, be sure to say hello to Mocha, the resident shop dog!

If you should ever find yourself headed for the slopes up at Paoli Peaks and you’re without equipment, be sure to visit the Paoli Pro Shop, located inside of the resort. The shop is over 3,000 square-feet and offers great pricing on a variety of skis, snowboards, boots, bindings, clothing, and accessories. The shop also has a full-service shop with techs on duty for tune-ups, repairs, and maintenance. They also offer a “try before you buy” rental/demo program, and make sure that each piece of equipment you purchase fits to your exact measurements. 

REI is the place to go in Indiana for all outdoor needs! Whether it’s downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or backcountry skiing, REI has everything you need. They also have a wide selection of Avalanche Safety Gear, which is a must have when out on the slopes – including an airbag pack. Arc’teryx Voltair avalanche airbag is the pack to have when out on the slopes and there is a risk of avalanches. The airbag helps to keep you above the surface or just under it so you’re more easily able to escape or be found. 

Another great place in Indiana to buy ski and snowboarding equipment is the Loft Shop, located inside of the Perfect North Slopes Ski Resort. The store carries a wide selection of skis, snowboards, bindings, boots, jackets, gloves, helmets… everything you need for the perfect day on the slopes! Inside you will also find the Tuning Shop, which offers binding work, ski/snowboard tuning, waxes, and other miscellaneous services. No matter your outdoor needs, the Loft Shop has it all!

For over 40 years, Outpost Sports has made it their business to outfit northern Indiana and Michigan with the best of the best. The goal of Outpost Sports is to sell the highest quality product for different outdoor sports, including snowboarding and skiing. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned expert, the staff here at Outpost Sports provide amazing customer service. Everyone is fitted for their sport, including equipment, goals, ability level, how often and where you intend to enjoy the outdoors! One of the other great things about Outpost is that they have a “give back” mentality, partnering with organizations such as Camp Eberhart, Junior Achievement, Bike Michiana for Hospice, and the Boy Scouts of America

 

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/7-best-ski-and-snowboard-stores-in-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/7-best-ski-and-snowboard-stores-in-indiana Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0600
10 Best Ice Skating Rinks in Indiana Due to its location, Indiana is home to some of the greatest ice skating rinks in the Midwest. From indoor arenas that have been part of local communities for decades to outdoor winter wonderlands, there’s something for all types and levels of ice skaters in Indiana. Here are the 10 best! 

Carmel Ice Skadium has been serving generations of Indianapolis figure and recreational skaters, as well as the Indy hockey community, for over 40 years. The stadium also features a weight room, snack bar, and party rooms. Be sure to join them during their public skate times. Listen to music, socialize with family and friends, and even meet new people! For something a little more interesting, be sure to join them during their Cosmic Skate Nights every Friday and Saturday, in which they turn the lights down low and turn on theatrical lights and special effects. 

The Ice Box opened in 1975, and is a place for hockey teams, figure skaters, and regional tournaments and competitions. They also offer public skating opportunities as well, and are open year-round. Their goal is to make ice hockey, figure, and public skating accessible and affordable for everyone in the Hoosier State. The Snack Shop offers a variety of goodies to choose from, including hot and cold beverages. They also offer broomball, a popular ice game that originated in Canada. It’s a place for everyone!

The Pop Weaver Youth Arena & Pavilion is located at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. They offer three different levels of Learn-to-Skate programs for anyone who wants to learn how to skate, from age seven to adults. Interested in hockey? There are also Learn-to-Play hockey classes as well! In addition to beginner skate classes and hockey classes, Pop Weaver offers figure skating classes. Pop Weaver is a great place to bring the family year-round!

Located in southern Columbus, Indiana, the Hamilton Ice Arena and Community Center offers a wide variety of ice programs for everything to choose from. Figure skating, group ice skating, and hockey lessons, two hockey leagues, as well as public sessions and programs and campus, there is so much to do! The facility also offers scholarship opportunities as well for young adults.

A post shared by Ri Voelz🍭 (@ri.voelz) on

The Compton Family Ice Arena opened in 2011 on the Notre Dame University campus. The facility houses two ice rinks, and was designed to support the university’s hockey programs, as well as those in the local community. It’s a state of the art facility with barrel-vaulted roof and bow trusses. The building is over 200,000 square-feet, and feature activities such as curling, My Tot and Me classes, as well as Learn-to-Skate classes. 

The Merrifield Ice Rink in northern Mishawaka, Indiana, is a great place for the whole family to enjoy a day of skating. The rink offers a variety of ‘theme nights’ such as Game Night, which features classic board games, as well as Cartoon Skates where you can skate alongside your favorite character, followed by a meet and greet! If you’ve never skated before, be sure to take advantage of their beginner skate lessons, and enjoy their weekly family skate nights!

The Midwest Training and Ice Center is the state’s largest training facility, and specializes not only in ice sports (hockey and figure skating), they also specialize in gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, as well as cheerleading. The facility is over 30,000 square-feet with one Olympic-size ice arena, nine locker rooms, a 6,000-square-foot fitness center, a pro shop for all your sporting needs, and a café. 

It’s not New York’s Central Plaza, but it’s definitely close! The Central Park Plaza Ice Rink in northern Valparaiso, Indiana, is a great place for the whole family. The facility has a large, towering arched roof which protects it from the outside elements. It also features a state-of-the-art sound system and colorful, changing lights. On site is also the Indiana Beverage Activity Center where guests can come to warm up with snacks and hot chocolate. 

The Frank Southern Ice Arena in southern Bloomington, Indiana, is a great place to bring the whole family for a day of fun! Join them for Saturday night Lunar Skating, which involves the use of strobe and other special effects lighting and features music from the 80s and 90s. Prefer to skate later in the evening? Join them for their Saturday Night Owl Skate nights! No matter what time you come, the Frank Southern Ice Arena is a great place to be to enjoy ice skating!

SportOne Parkview Ice House in northern Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility that opened in early 2010. The facility has three NHL-size ice surfaces, and is the only three-sheet facility in Indiana. The Ice House also offers a full-service restaurant and bar, the Thirsty Penguin Grillhouse, something that others rinks don’t have in Indiana. There is also a Bounce Mania for the kids. The facility offers Learn-to-Skate and beginner hockey classes, as well as public skate sessions and advanced figure skating programs. It’s an all-in facility that has something for everyone!

View this post on Instagram

John Deer(e) or John Doe?! Broomball2018

A post shared by Rachel Gist (@gistrachel) on

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-ice-skating-rinks-in-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-ice-skating-rinks-in-indiana Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0600
The Best Cross-Country Skiing Adventure in Indiana If you’re hungry for an outdoor adventure, head to northern Indiana to enjoy a cross-country skiing trip unlike any other. The awe-inspiring Indiana Dunes are a sight to see during the winter, and are even more striking while trekking through on a pair of cross-country skis. Not only is there great skiing in the area, but plenty of opportunity for invigorating snowshoeing, wine tasting, café dining, and more. Here’s the best cross-country skiing adventure in Indiana.

While Indiana may only have two ski resorts, there are still plenty of places to go cross-country skiing, primarily up in the northern regions of the state. Chesterton, Indiana, which is home to the Indiana Dunes State Park, is a prime spot for cross-country skiing. The best trail is the Glenwood Dunes Trail, which is nicely groomed and features hills for cross-country skiers of all levels and experience.  

If you’re a fan of snowshoeing, the best spot to do this is at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Porter, Indiana, which is just a short drive from Chesterton. Take a guided snowshoe walk with one of the Dune’s rangers, and enjoy the beauty of winter up at the Dunes. 

For someplace great to stay while you enjoy the amazing outdoor activities, make the Hilton Garden Inn your home base to unwind at the end of the day. This hotel is everything where you need it. Each room comes with its own refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker, as well as free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour business center, an indoor nautical center, and more! The inn also has a full-service restaurant, and guests can enjoy room service! 

Take a break from skiing or snowshoeing and enjoy one of Indiana’s best-kept secrets, Anderson’s Vineyard and Winery, located in Valparaiso, which is just a short drive from Chesterton. Anderson’s specializes in light, fruity wines and gives their customers a unique, country wine experience. Take a guided tour through the vineyard’s wine cellar. Be sure to visit Anderson’s Bakery before you leave and enjoy delicious, homemade treats such as apple cinnamon doughnuts, cheese cake, pumpkin rolls, and turnovers.

If you’re looking for a great breakfast outside the Hilton Garden Inn, take a short drive to Valparaiso and visit the Blackbird Café. It’s a true local coffee shop, where baristas know your name and order by heart. The customer service is outstanding, and the food is made from scratch daily using the best of the best in ingredients as well as locally-grown produce. Try a delicious yogurt parfait or the fantastic breakfast sandwich, with a delicious iced apple chai latte.

A post shared by Anna Dorusha (@annashadoru) on

Take a break from skiing and visit the Westchester Township History Museum, which offers free tours, local history research, exhibits, and a museum store. The museum was created by the Westchester Public Library in 1998 to collect and preserve the history of Westchester Township. The museum itself is in the historic Brown Mansion which was built in 1885, and features 16 different rooms or exhibits which trace the history of the township from when it was first formed thousands of years ago to the present. 

If you feel in the mood to shop and are looking specifically for antiques, visit Spill the Milk Vintage in Valparaiso. The motto here is “Be You, Be Bold, Do It Vintage.” Here people are inspired to seek their individual style, and each item is re-purposed or re-designed to be used for endless possibilities. Spill the Milk prides itself of having eclectic selections including furniture, mirrors, armories, and more. You’ll also find one-of-a-kind vintage clothing, purses, and jewelry.

OoooooooO heaven is a place on earth

A post shared by Madison Vlasic (@morningrisers) on

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/the-best-crosscountry-skiing-adventure-in-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/the-best-crosscountry-skiing-adventure-in-indiana Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0600
10 Best Winter Hikes in Indiana When the days change from sunny and warm to a little brisker, Indiana’s hiking landscape transforms along with it. With smaller crowds, changing wildlife, and stunning sights only the colder air can bring out, a winter hike in Indiana is truly special. With so many magical locations to choose from, Indiana is a dream for those who love the outdoors—all year-round. Here are the 10 best winter hikes in the state.  

Come to Indiana Dunes this winter and choose from 14 different trail systems. The most popular trails this time of year are the Miller Woods Trail and the Glenwood Dunes Trail System. Both are popular with hikers and feature a moderate trail, as well as spectacular views of Lake Michigan and Lake George. Another popular trail is the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk. In the winter, visitors can observe shelf ice that forms along the beach’s edge. Visitors are also encouraged to take the Cowles Bog trail to explore the icy beaches.   

The world is round, and the beach is that way.

A post shared by Keith Gough (@goughteaches) on

O’Bannon Woods State Park is one of the best places for winter hiking. The park’s most popular attractions during the summer are the Wyandotte Caves and the Big and Little Wyandotte Cave Tours. But in the winter time, it’s all about the trails. With nine different trail systems to choose from, there is something for every level of hiker. Take the Sharp Spring Trail which goes around the Wyandotte Wetlands and passes the Sharp’s Spring on the backside of the lake. It’s considered to be one of Indiana’s best-kept secrets!

McCormick’s Creek State Park is Indiana’s first official state park, and the best place for spectacular views. The park is made up of gorgeous limestone canyons, flowing creeks, and a beautiful waterfall that’s even more amazing in the winter when it’s frozen as it falls. Trail #5 is said to be the best trail to hike in the winter because once you reach the top, the trail offers visitors a 360-degree tour of the entire park. From snow covered hills to ice covered trees, winter never looked so good!

With seven trails covering more than 28 miles, the Morgan-Monroe State Forest in Martinsville, Indiana, offers a great place for winter hiking. The trails are just part of the forest’s 24,000 acres and has many steep ridges, valleys, and some of the state’s finest hardwoods. The Low Gap Trail is the most popular, and while it is rugged, it also offers the best view of the entire forest. Another great trail is the Three Lakes Trail, which connects the Cherry, Beanblossom, and Bryants Creek Lakes. In the winter, these lakes appear frozen in time, the water still moving deep below but frozen on the surface. 

Pokagon State Park is a winter wonderland for those who enjoy the outdoors, offering activities such as cross-country skiing, sledding, ice fishing and even tobogganing! The park also offers nine hiking trails for all levels of hikers, the most popular being the Bluebird Hills Trail, which starts just below Hell’s Point on Trail 3. The trail takes visitors past open, rolling hills and frozen wetlands. Another popular trail is Trail 9, which goes through wooded, frozen swamps, and young forests. Here, visitors can feel the quiet of Mother Nature as she settles in for a long winter’s nap. 

Turkey Run State Park is gorgeous during the summer, but it’s even better during the winter. Visitors can explore sandstone ravines, walk through aged forests, and enjoy the beautiful scenic views along Sugar Creek. Trail 3 is highly recommended during the winter, but not recommended when there is ice along the trails. Visitors can follow the cliffs along Sugar Creek and then pass by the Ice Box, a deep hole-like structure in the middle of the forest. The trail will also take visitors past the Punch Bowl, which looks like a large pothole that was formed by erratic glaciers caught in a swirling mass of water long along. It offers the best views, but is not recommended for the inexperienced hiker. 

Join other nature and hiking lovers alike this year at Shades State Park. Hike along the beautiful sandstone cliffs that overlook Sugar Creek, or wander through one of the numerous shady ravines as you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature in the winter. For the inexperienced hiker, Trail 6 trails along the frozen Red Fox Ravine, giving breathtaking views of frozen trees and frozen lakes. 

Mounds State Mound features 10 unique earthworks built by the prehistoric Adena-Hopewell Indians. The Great Mound, a popular attraction, is believed to have been constructed around 160 B.C. There are six different trails to choose from, each with breathtaking views and scenery. Trail 1 is the easiest trail and winds around four prehistoric mounds, which look a bit out of place in the snow. Another great trail is Trail 5, which offers scenic views along the White River and limestone bluffs before crossing several other creeks. Visitors can glimpse different species of wildlife as they settle in for the season, and listen to the birds as they fly back and forth. 

Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis is a popular destination for visitors throughout Indiana, especially in the winter. One of its main attractions: the biggest sledding hills in the area. The park is 1,700 acres and even has a dog park that Fido can enjoy. There are seven different hiking trails to choose from and range from easy to moderate. Each trail offers views of the park, wildlife, Duck Pond and more. 

Perhaps the most popular place to go hiking in the winter is Brown County State Park in southern Nashville, Indiana. Nicknamed the “Little Smokies” because of its striking resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains, Brown County is over 16,000 acres of hills, ridges, and ravines. This is the best place to see where glaciers formed thousands of years ago and carved the land in southern Indiana. Hike, then climb the 90-foot Fire Tower to see an incredible view of the hills o’Brown (Brown County hillside). See the snow-covered mountain tops and the sloping hills, and feel the cold winter chill the higher you climb. Another great trail is the CCC Trail which features stone bridges, stairways, and retaining walls. 

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-winter-hikes-in-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-winter-hikes-in-indiana Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0600
Best Winter Weekend Getaway in Brown County State Park Though the snow may be falling and the temperatures rapidly cooling, there is still plenty of fun to be had here in Indiana. Journey down south for a winter weekend getaway in Brown County and enjoy authentic log cabins, a frosty trail hike, ice fishing, and so much more.  

Brown County is one of Indiana’s best kept secrets but a popular destination all year round. It’s a place where the past is celebrated, and the founding and development of the art colonies took place. It’s an eclectic place with a beautiful park nicknamed “Little Smokies” because of its resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. The park is just under 16,000 acres and features rugged hills, ridges, and ravines, as well as the rare and endangered Yellowwood Tree, a nature center, and more. It’s the perfect family destination. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Connor Carpenter (@connor.carpenter) on

The best way to stay in Brown County, even just for the weekend, is in a real log cabin, and Nickel’s Vacation Cabins has some of the best to offer! The cabins are located within the heart of the hills of Brown County and are just minutes from the Farmhouse Café and Tea Room. The views from the cabins are absolutely breathtaking and provide that perfect winter feel: snow falling across the hills, the wind lightly moving the tree branches, just absolutely perfect. There are four cabins to choose from: Cabin in the Pines, Antique Cabin, Garden Cabin or the Kelly Reed Cabin. The cabins, while rustic on the outside, have all the modern amenities on the inside, and even come with a porch swing. 

The Brown County Historical Society offers the most interesting tours of historical sites in Nashville. Check out the Old Log Jail, which was originally built in 1837 for $175. The Community Building is a dog trot style log cabin, believed to be from the 1840s, that was discovered in Jackson County by a Nashville-resident rabbit hunter who had it moved to Brown County in 1925. It had served as the site for major community events for many decades. There are so many more sites, artifacts, and historic events to be uncovered through the wonderful tours by the historical society. They’ll give you a taste of what Brown County was like in the 1800-1900s. 

Another great way to discover the beauty that Brown County has to offer is by ATV and Explore Brown County ATV tours is the organization to see! They offer guided ATV, Hill Climb Buggy, and off-road Hummer tours. The guided ATV experience offers two different guided tour options: Ridge Runner, which provides visitors with a one-hour tour of the property and highlights some of the trails, or the Cemetery Tour, where visitors can explore the old roads used by stagecoaches, pioneer home sites, and a graveyard that dates back to the 1800s! This tour also gives visitors a chance to see the true beauty that is Brown County. 

Another noteworthy historical site in Nashville is the T.C. Steele State Historic Site. This is the stomping grounds of the famous Hoosier impressionist painter Theodore Clement Steele, who is still very significant to the art community. His works of Indiana landscapes are widely recognized as he was a leader in the American Midwest painting movement. The grounds contain many gardens sculpted by Selma Steele. With the large studio house, gardens, and many hiking trails to explore, you’ll be taking a step back to the early 1900s.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Katie (@kmart182) on

One would not normally consider “winter” the easiest season to go fishing but ice fishing is quite the popular sport at Ogle Lake! Visitors are required to have a state fishing license in order to fish, but the lake provides an excellent selection species to catch! The lake itself was developed in the late 1920s to early 1930s by the Veteran’s Civilian Conversation Corps Company and not only has a great selection of fish, but it also has some fantastic and relaxing views of the park. 

Located on the grounds of The Flower and Herb barn, the Farmhouse Cafe and Tea Room is a quaint establishment that provides its visitors with a truly one of a kind experience and views. The farmhouse was built in the 1800s and features original hardwood and brick both inside and out, as well as a beautiful brick fireplace, perfect for cozying up to on a cold afternoon. Ask for their soup of the day, made fresh daily with herbs, spices and garden vegetables grown in the nursery. And of course, let’s not forget dessert, which could be homemade carrot cake or some warm, soft and gooey farmhouse chocolate brownies with drizzled chocolate on top! 

Another great place to visit for a delicious meal is Big Woods. From the moment the restaurant first opened in early 2009, it became an instant hit with locals, tourists and craft beer lovers. There are six locations throughout Indiana, three of which are in Nashville, including the Original Big Woods. The Big Woods Pizza is located across the alley from the original location and features indoor/outdoor seating, a downstairs bar and tasting room, and a second story bar and event space. Feel free to order one of their delicious Artisan pizzas such as The Hawaiian Luau, or build your own using their locally sourced ingredients. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Big Woods Nashville (@bigwoodsbrewing) on

What is a winter getaway without ice skating? In Bloomington you’ll find Frank Southern Ice Arena. This skating rink offers the classic public skating experience, with the addition of Lunar Skating, which includes special-effect lighting as well as well as classic tunes to jam out on the ice to, and Night Own Skating, which as you can imagine rungs into the late hours of the night. Grab your mittens and hat, some friends, and head to the ice rink for the quintessential winter experience! 

If you’re looking for a guaranteed day of fun, head to Paoli for some time to carve some trails at Paoli Peaks. There is a natural hill with a 300-foot drop, 15 trails, eight lifts, two terrain parks, and a 45,000-square-foot day lodge. If you are a pro, just beginning, or somewhere in the middle, there are trails for every skill level. Lessons and rentals are offered so if you forgot your equipment, no need to stress! Not only do they offer skiing and snowboarding passes, but they also offer snow tubing at the Arctic Blast Snow Tube Park. At a reasonable price, you can come and enjoy three hours of tubing down some epic runs.

Another great spot for entertainment is the Brown County Winery, which has been a family owned and operated business since it first opened in 1985. Not only do they have some of the best wine in Indiana, but this is also the best place if you’ve come for the views. Complimentary wine tastings are offered daily and include selections such as the Vista Rosé Wine, Strawberry Wine, Blackberry Wine, Old Barrel Port, and many others. Not only do they taste utterly delicious, they’re also beautiful and pure in color. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Brown County Winery (@browncountywinery) on

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/best-winter-weekend-getaway-in-brown-county-state-park http://stepoutside.org/article/best-winter-weekend-getaway-in-brown-county-state-park Mon, 10 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0600
SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Brown County State Park Indiana has a range of beautiful state parks to visit, but perhaps the most popular destination for Hoosiers and visitors alike is Brown County State Park in southern Nashville, Indiana. Not only is the park big and breathtaking, but Nashville makes for an excellent city to explore after your outdoor adventure. For impressive art galleries, cozy bakeries, and bluegrass music parks, here are some great things to do in and around Brown County State Park.  

This state park is THE hiking destination in Indiana, with over 70 miles of bridled trails for the equestrian enthusiasts, and over 18 miles of hiking trails for hikers of all levels of experience. The park also offer year-round camping, where visitors can enjoy the park’s two lakes, one used for swimming and the other for fishing during the summer, and ice fishing during the winter. For the little ones, try the park’s nature center, where they can learn about the park’s various wildlife such as white-tailed deer, raccoons, gray squirrels, and even wild turkeys! And though Brown County State Park is, without a doubt, the most popular attraction in Nashville, there are other things to do and see as well! 

I live my life fighting one bramble bush to the next. But what a view! - Indiana surprised me. I had no idea of all of the wondrous places it was hiding! Brown County is known as "the little smokey mountains" because all throughout the hills you could see fog rising up. Pair that with the setting sun and you have a truly breathtaking sight. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - #browncounty #browncountystatepark #indiana #exploreindiana #indianaphotographer #sunset #landscape #landscapephotography #explore #neverstopexploring #womenwhoexplore #exploremore #exploreeverything #explorepage #hike #womenwhohike #getoutside #getoutstayout #optoutside #travel #travelgram #traveladdict #instatravel #solotravel #adventure #adventureisoutthere #wander #wanderlust #girlswithmuscle #wanderwomeninc

A post shared by Marissa Jager (@marissa_be_bold) on

The first stop on your journey through Nashville should be the Brown County Art Gallery. The gallery was founded in 1926, and features over 400 paintings and artifacts in its Permanent Collection. Many of the original artists donated paintings and other items to create an ongoing exhibit, which is what visitors see today. Ninety years later, the gallery is still going strong and features the work of early Indiana artists, such as Gustave Baumann and William Zimmerman. 

For all the bluegrass fans out there, this is the place to be! The Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground is home of the Bill Monroe Memorial Bluegrass Festival, which is the oldest, and continuous, running bluegrass festival in the world. It’s also the home of the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum. Throughout the year, the park and campground hosts eight musical events, from bluegrass to blues, gospel and rock-n-roll. Bring the whole family, some lawn chairs, and pack a picnic as you enjoy the sounds of live music in the campground’s wooden amphitheater. All shows are held rain or shine!

For something more relaxing and enjoyable, head to the Brown County Winery, located deep in the rolling hills of Nashville. The winery is committed to providing their customers with outstanding, high quality and most importantly, local wine, as well as an educational and enjoyable experience. The winery offers complimentary, daily tastings of their different wines and of course, before you leave, be sure to purchase a bottle or case of your favorite wine! The Vista White Wine or the Traminette, one of Indiana’s signature wines, are highly recommended.

View this post on Instagram

A surprise visit from friends πŸ€—πŸ€—

A post shared by Stephen Walley (@swalleybeave) on

Another must-see destination in Nashville is the Brown County Playhouse, a 425-seat venue for a variety of entertainment, including concerts, live theatre, the latest movies, community events, festivals, and so much more. Popular shows include the Shimmy and Shake featuring a mixture of traditional belly dancing and modern music, Twist the Night Away in which visitors old and young can relive the music of the 1950s, and of course, Brown County’s very own Rich Hill’s World of Magic.

If you should ever be in Nashville and find yourself hungry and craving something good to eat, look no further than the Hobnob Corner Restaurant, an artisan inspired restaurant located in heart of Nashville. Step inside and be surrounded by rustic, historic charm, history, and some of the most delicious handmade, house-made food. Try a delicious cheeseburger or one of Indiana’s famous breaded tenderloin sandwiches, or one of the Hobnob specialties. Spinach lasagna or pot roast, anyone? And for dessert, try one of their delicious Chocolate Temptations!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jiseong Kim (@goldpingping) on

Craving a snack? Then you must visit the Carmel Corn Cottage, specializing in one of a kind, unique carmel corns. This charming little shop sits at the north end of Nashville on Van Buren street, and visitors can smell the caramel cooking over a mile away. The staff is extremely friendly and provide exceptional customer service. The shop offers 10 different types of caramel to choose from, as well as other flavors such as dill, maple and bacon. They also have some pooch corn for your furry four-legged friend! It’s truly one of a kind!

Bring Fido to this one of a kind doggie bakery in Nashville on your next trip, or at least be sure to bring back a few treats! The Bone Appetit offers over 20 flavors of premium, all natural dog treats made right here in the USA. The treats come in a variety of shapes, textures, and sizes. They also have treats for dogs who have dietary restrictions. When you choose a treat for your own dog, be sure to choose one to have sent to the Brown County Humane Society as well and save up to 90 percent. 

For all the craft lovers out there, come to Nashville’s one of kind, premier stamping and scrapbooking store! Wishful Thinking offers high-quality scrapbooking and stamping supplies you might not find in other stores. Wishful Thinking began in 2001 but it wasn’t until the following year that the store really took off thanks to owner Marlene Miller. Now, it’s the best place to find those unique, one of a kind craft supplies! The store also offers classes and other special events such as Artist Trading Swap, monthly card classes, and more.

For something a bit more unique, come visit the Emerald Pencil, a gallery of original art, gift cards, and curious things such as drawings, jewelry, vintage clothing and more. The Emerald Pencil is a tale of times past, furnished by creator Pamela Keech, who helps tell the stories of immigrant families by recreating their homes. It’s truly a unique sight to behold, and one everyone must see passing through Nashville!

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-things-to-do-in-and-around-brown-county-state-park http://stepoutside.org/article/spotlight-things-to-do-in-and-around-brown-county-state-park Fri, 02 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Cool Spots for ATV Off-Roading in Indiana Imagine riding on an ATV through some of Indiana’s most beautiful landscapes. Feel the rush of the wind and smell nature as it whisks past you. Here in Indiana, ATV off-roading is a popular past time and a hobby that many indulge in, especially in the more rural areas of the state. Check out these five cool spots for ATV off-roading in Indiana. 

A former coal mine which straddles Pike and Warrick counties, Interlake State Recreation Area is home to 3,550 acres and over 100 miles of trails where those who love ATV off-roading can come and enjoy themselves. Located in Lynnville, Indiana, there are a variety of trails for the off-road vehicle lovers, horse riders, hikers, and mountain bikers alike. Interlake also offers a diverse landscape with incredible views. 

Another former coal mine, Redbird State Recreation Area is home to 1,400 acres and has miles of trails for all skill levels. The trails are open seven days a week, sunrise to sunset but may be closed due to hazardous conditions and weather. If you happen to encounter issues such as broken cables or battery issues, there is a station nearby to purchase supplies.

Another great off-roading site for ATV fun is Haspin Acres in Laurel, Indiana. Open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, this family-friendly park sits on 750 acres of rural Indiana. However, hours for off-roading activities are from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Haspin Acres requires all riders to wear a helmet and seat belt on the appropriate vehicles. Need a spare part or have a broken cable? Check out the small parts and accessories shop, belonging to Mr. Skids. There is also a small restaurant on the property, The Stone Hearth Grill, in case you get hungry. Gale’s World Famous Chili is a favorite among those who visited!

A post shared by Tyler Bluhm (@tyler_bluhm_) on

The Badlands Off Road Park in Attica, Indiana, is a privately-owned area consisting of 800 acres, and its mission is to provide an awesome experience. One thing that sets the Badlands apart from others throughout Indiana is that they have specific areas dedicated to beginners where they can practice and learn to ride their vehicles. Don’t feel like taking the mess home with you after a long day of riding? Jump in and enjoy a shower in one of their six private showers! Feeling hungry? Check out Bob’s Burgers and enjoy the infamous Sasquatch Burger!

Nashville, Indiana, is the place to be this summer! With its breathtaking scenery and some of the most rugged hills and terrains in Indiana, eXplore Brown County eat is an ATV lover’s dream! With over 1,000 acres, eXplore offers a variety of outdoor activities. From zip-lining to paintball, mountain biking, and so much more! One thing that sets this place apart from others is that guided ATV and dune buggy tours are available year-round, weather permitting. This is nice, especially for those who may not be experienced ATV riders. You can also bring your own ATV for the tour. Because it is a retreat center, it offers other attractions such as a day spa and salon, three wineries, as well as a nature preserve and art galleries. 

*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.

]]>
XanderSt/Shutterstock.com http://stepoutside.org/article/5-cool-spots-for-atv-offroading-in-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/5-cool-spots-for-atv-offroading-in-indiana Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Stunning Foliage Hikes in Indiana Most people think the best places to see the leaves change in the fall is along the East Coast. But here in Indiana, you can experience equally stunning foliage. The best time to see the colors is in October, when they are at their brightest. So, if seeing the fall vibrancy is on your to-do list this year, be sure take these five stunning foliage hikes in Indiana! 

Every Hoosier knows that the place to be in the fall is Brown County State Park in southern Indiana. It’s considered the East Coast of Indiana when it comes to watching the leaves change. Made up of nearly 16,000 acres of hills, ridges and ravines, Brown County has earned the nickname “Little Smokies,” and it’s a popular destination for hikers and fall lovers alike. What makes it so attractive? Nearly 20 miles of tree-lined roads and with each trail, the views are a sight to behold. There are many different trails one can hike, but the most popular and best to see the colors are the Lodge Trail, Friends Trail, and CCC Trail.

Located near Marshall, Indiana, is Turkey Run State Park. This is where ancient Indiana comes to life. See some of the deep ravines that date back 300 to 600 million years and gaze in awe at the deep canyons and the beautiful hemlock groves. Trail 1 takes you past majestic sycamore and giant black walnut trees. Trail 5 also affords some mesmerizing views. The deeper into the park you go, the more colors you will see. 

Considered to be one of Indiana’s hidden gems and a bit smaller compared to other hiking destinations, Clifty Falls State Park in southern Jefferson County, Indiana, only has about 1,500 acres. Here though, you can see the park’s many waterfalls that change with the weather, as well as some of the most stunning foliage colors Indiana has to offer. The trails can vary from easy to rugged, but Trails 4 and 5 have the best views, though both trails are a bit steep. 

Most people consider Indiana Dunes to be a summer place. A place where you can relax on the beach, sail a boat, and feel the warm sand beneath your feet. You can do all of that, but if you come to the Indiana Dunes State Park in October, you’ll be left in awe of the beautiful foliage you will find here. Indiana Dunes State Park offers 14 trail systems that cover more than 50 miles. The park itself has over 15,000 acres for visitors to hike through and explore. Take the Oak Savannah Hike and see the views of the mature forests and the beautiful Lake George. 

Located near southern Bedford, Indiana, the Hoosier National Forest is filled with color. The forest itself encompasses over 200,000 acres and is managed by the United States Forest Service. When hiking the Hoosier National Forest, there is over 260 miles of trails—the key is finding the right trail with the best views. The Nebo Ridge Trail and the Hickory Ridge Trail come highly recommended but no matter which trail you choose, there is a view that will leave you speechless!

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/5-stunning-foliage-hikes-in-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/5-stunning-foliage-hikes-in-indiana Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0500
ATV Off-Roading Adventure with eXplore Brown County There are a few places in Indiana for a prime ATV off-roading experience, and among the best is eXplore Brown County at Valley Branch Retreat. Located in Nashville, Indiana, the town not only offers great off-roading opportunities but plenty of great places to fill up your belly and relax, too. Let’s make an adventure of your visit to eXplore Brown County! 

For organic, fair trade coffee and loose teas, start your day at Common Grounds Coffee Bar & Tea Shoppe. In addition to serving some of Nashville’s best coffee and tea, the shoppe also has a unique selection of collectibles and antiques. The service is fast and friendly with a small town feel where everybody knows your name, and your drink order. The chairs are comfortable, the atmosphere is welcoming, and the coffee is delicious. Come for the coffee, and leave feeling like one of the family.

For a great breakfast, come to Hobnob Corner Restaurant, located in the heart of Nashville. When you walk inside, visitors find themselves surrounded by history, charm, and homemade food. A family owned and operated restaurant since 1979, their mission is to make their customers feel comfortable and cozy while serving up some of the most delicious foods. Though the menu may be small, the portions are huge. Try a delicious western omelet, or the Loggers Hash. They also offer huevos rancheros, and some of the most mouth-watering, soft and fluffy Buttermilk pancakes! This is a great way to fill up before your big day out. 

The best place for ATV off-roading is at eXplore Brown County at Valley Branch Retreat. This place is an ATV lover’s dream. The retreat has over 1,000 acres and a variety of outdoor activities including zip-lining, mountain biking, ATV off-roading, and so much more. One of the things that makes eXplore stand out is guided ATV and dune buggy tours available year-round, weather permitting. If you are not an experienced ATV rider or don’t feel comfortable riding on your own, this is a nice option to still get the ATV experience but with a knowledgeable guide. If you have your own ATV, feel free to bring it! The retreat also offers attractions such as a day spa, salon, three wineries, art galleries, and a nature preserve. If you choose so, you can also stay on site, as the retreat has many hotels and inns.

What better way to cap off a long day on the trails than with some delicious pizza! Their signature pies are absolutely to die for. Choose from options such as the “Big Woods,” made with pork sausage, roasted garlic, asiago cheese, and mozzarella over marinara sauce. Or try “the Forager,” made with “all the fixins” including marinara, pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, bacon, mushroom, green pepper, onion, black olives, and mozzarella. It doesn’t get heartier than that! 

This location is Brown County’s premier live music spot! At the Pine Room Tavern, you’ll find an extensive wine list, nine beers on tap, and live music seven nights a week—including both local songwriters and national acts! Unwind after your long day with a couple of brews and great live music. 

If you’re looking to stay someplace that resembles quaint southern hospitality and can transport you back in time, look no further than the Cornerstone Inn. In December 1939, Frederic Tilton and his wife bought a tiny house at the end of West Main Street, and not long after, they purchased Lot 10, which was later deeded to the Tilton family nearly 50 years later. In 1993, the lot was cleared for what is now known as the Cornerstone Inn. The inn has three retail shops on the first floor, a museum on the lower level, and guest rooms on the second and third floors. Here at the Cornerstone Inn, there are dozens of rooms to choose from, each with its own unique set of features and charm. Visitors can also choose to stay at the inn’s offsite vacation cabin, which is rustic living at its finest. No matter which room you choose to stay in, the Cornerstone Inn will captivate visitors with its history and charm. 

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/atv-offroading-adventure-with-explore-brown-county http://stepoutside.org/article/atv-offroading-adventure-with-explore-brown-county Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Best Fishing Spots in Indiana If you’re looking for the ultimate angling adventure, Indiana is an incredible choice. From man-made rivers and streams to glacial lakes and reservoirs, Indiana boasts some of the best fishing in the Midwest. Rain or shine, snowy or steaming summers, come check out the five best fishing spots in Indiana. 

Situated on over 25,000 acres, Patoka Lake makes up nearly 9,000 acres in Birdseye, Indiana. The lake, which is located just south of historic French Lick and West Baden, is a fisherman’s dream. A freshwater reservoir, it was named “best in the Midwest” by USA Today. You’ll find a variety of fish from largemouth and small mouth bass to catfish and more. The lake is also home to a variety of wildlife as well, including two non-releasable bald eagles. You’ll also find a red-tailed hawk, screech owls, and even river otter and osprey. 

A post shared by Matthew (@m.ungren) on

Located between the small town of Cicero and the larger city of Noblesville, Morse Reservoir is another one of Indiana’s go-to places for fishing. With over 1,500 acres of water, 35 miles of shoreline, and seven miles of water navigable from Little Chicago Road in Noblesville to State Road 19 in Cicero, this is every fisherman’s paradise. The reservoir was originally constructed in 1956 to serve as Indianapolis’s third reservoir for drinking water, but it is also used primarily for fishing. The most popular spots along Morse Reservoir are along the shore and by the dam. 

Another prime fishing spot in Indiana is the White River, which flows throughout Southern Indiana (Muncie, Chesterfield, Perkinsville, Noblesville, and Broad Ripple, etc.) All throughout southern Indiana, this magnificent river flows for nearly 330 miles. A beautiful place to sit and back relax, the White River offers breathtaking views and calm, clear waters. There is also camping available for those who wish to stay. Enjoy fishing for smallmouth bass, bluegills, catfish, yellow perch and more! You can also fish for minnow as well.  

A post shared by Vibe Kayaks (@vibekayaks) on

The St. Joseph River is considered a “visiting” river to Indiana. It rises in Michigan, flows down into Indiana before flowing back up to Michigan. Forty-two miles of the St. Joseph River flows through the northern half of Indiana (South Bend, Fort Wayne, Elkhart, and Bristol). Here you will find a beautiful place to spend time with family during the warm weather and catching a variety of fish. Because it is a fresh water river, you can find bowfins, trout, minnows, quite the selection of catfish, as well as sunfish and bass.

A post shared by Andrew Buss (@buss.andrew) on

Situated in Hoosier National Forest, Sundance Lake was “built for fishing.” The lake covers 5.3 acres close to the town of Spurgeons Corner. The fishing area was originally constructed in 1992 to expand fishing opportunity in that particular area of Hoosier National Forest. Anglers will find bluegill, redear sunfish, bass, and channel catfish in Sundance Lake. 

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-fishing-spots-in-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-fishing-spots-in-indiana Thu, 01 Nov 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Awesome RV Campsites in Indiana Let Mother Nature work her magic as you reconnect with nature and escape the everyday hustle and bustle. Across the state of Indiana, you’ll discover an abundance of excellent RV campsites just waiting for you to pull up, set up camp, and stay the night. Camping in an RV provides the getaway you’re looking for, all while offering the comforts of a kitchen, a cozy place to sleep, and more. Here are five awesome campsites in Indiana. 

If you are looking for some place that is more than just an RV campground, head on down to southern Indiana to Thousand Trails’ Horseshoe Lakes. The area is over 290 acres and boasts a family-friendly atmosphere with the charm of a true campground. Situated on spring-fed lakes, Horseshoe Lakes has 11 lakes to fish in! If fishing isn’t your passion, there are other activities to do as well. Try your hand at a game of shuffleboard or mini golf. There is also a swimming pool, playground, volleyball and basketball! It’s fun for the whole family. 

France Park is Logansport’s hidden gem RV campsite. With over 200 campsites, there is something for everyone when you camp at France Park. One hundred and thirty sites have electricity and water hook-ups. Pets are allowed if they remain on a leash. There are shower houses available, and several playgrounds as well. The area itself is beautiful. With scenic trails to a breathtaking waterfall and picture perfect cliffs, there is no shortage of scenery to be found. There is also a designated fishing lake, and the Old Kenith Depot Store that has all your camping needs! Have you ever wanted to scuba dive? France Park is THE dive site in Indiana. The waters are crystal clear and there are plenty of fish to be found. For those of you that love Frisbee golf, you’ll be delighted to find 24 spots to play!

Welcome to Timberline Valley RV Resort, another one of Indiana’s premier camping resorts! Though it is only a few miles away from I-69, it feels as though you’ve left the city and entered an entirely remote part of Indiana. Timberline Valley is made up of 80 beautiful and scenic acres, and has a country-like feel to it. What makes this spot a bit different compared to other areas of camping is that Timberline Valley offers a 3.5-acre lake with a beach! The beach isn’t large by any means, but it certainly reminds you of being up at Indiana Dunes! Timberline Valley is for families and couples alike, and offers 95 RV sites. Each site includes a picnic table and fire pit. Not far from Timberline Valley is the Indianapolis Speedway, and be sure to visit Fairmount, Indiana, during their annual James Dean festival!

Perhaps one of the most popular RV campsites in Indiana is in Brown County. The park has dozens of different campsites and offers a variety of amenities. Check out the park’s nature center or country store. There is also a swimming pool, tennis courts, and so much more! Try a morning or evening trail ride and watch the sunset along Brown County’s beautiful forests. Whether you prefer biking or hiking, there are trails for all levels and preferences. Dine under one of the park’s picnic shelters and enjoy a delicious meal. 

View this post on Instagram

Runaround Sue #runaroundsue

A post shared by Susan Beresford (@suzudesigns) on

One of the most highly-rated RV parks and campgrounds in the state, Eby’s Pines will give you the family getaway you’re looking for. Camping areas include deluxe full hook-up pull-through sites designed for larger units, full hook-up sites, electric and water sites, and primitive sites. On the grounds, you’ll find a 2,400-square-foot heated swimming pool, hiking and snowmobile trails, a game room, a roller-skating rink and laser tag arena, tennis courts, basketball courts, and much more.  

]]>
iStock.com/cookelma http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-rv-campsites-in-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-rv-campsites-in-indiana Tue, 30 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Perfect Fall Camping Spots in Indiana Just because the weather is getting cooler in Indiana doesn’t mean the outdoor fun has to stop, especially when it comes to camping. In fact, fall is the perfect time to go camping in Indiana. The leaves are changing, the sunsets are more magnificent, and of course, not as many bugs. Check out these five perfect fall camping spots in Indiana. 

Offering some of the best camping in the state is Starve Hollow in southern Indiana. There are 280 acres of camping, but the entire area itself is 18,000 acres, composed of the Jackson-Washington State Forest. There are a variety of camping options to choose from at Starve Hollow, from full hookup, electric and non-electric, to rent-a-cabins, only available through November. There are modern restrooms and showers available, and various picnic areas and shelters that can be reserved. When you come to Starve Hollow, you’ll never want to leave!

Shades State Park is a nature lover’s paradise, and a favorite place for fall camping among residents in Indiana. From April to October, visitors can camp the old-fashioned way by pitching a tent and gazing up at the stars. There are also beautiful sandstone cliffs that overlook Sugar Creek and many shady ravines which provide a gorgeous background. 

Located on the banks of the Wabash River in northwestern New Harmony, Indiana, visitors will feel the “harmony” in Harmonie State Park this fall. Camp in one of the old world-style family cabins and feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. There are also 200 electric campsites with modern restrooms. There is also a pool to be enjoyed on the warmer days, and a youth tent area for the younger ones. The views at Harmonie State Park and the layout reminds one of the early settler days, with flat floodplains and rolling hills in some camping areas. 

Come to Gordons Campground this fall and enjoy camping at its finest. There are different rental options to choose from, so whether you prefer camping the old-fashioned way, want to sleep in an RV trailer, or a cozy, rustic cabin, there is a camping choice for everyone. Gordons Campground sits on 75 wooded acres in the heart of northern Indiana and has been providing families with fun activities and unique campsites for over 50 years. Throughout the fall, join Gordons for some fun events, such as karaoke nights, the Hillbilly Hoedown, and Swamp Meet Weekend, as well as two back to back Halloween weekends! You don’t want to miss this! It’s family fun for everyone!

What’s better than camping in the fall here in Indiana? How about camping in the fall on the beach? Head up to Indiana Dunes State Park this fall for one of a kind camping. The views are incredible and there are dozens of different campsites and camping areas to choose from so no matter where you are camped out, you’ll always see beautiful Lake Michigan and its sparkling waters. 

]]>
http://stepoutside.org/article/5-perfect-fall-camping-spots-in-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/5-perfect-fall-camping-spots-in-indiana Tue, 30 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500
5 Great Hiking Trails in Indiana When the weather is nice in Indiana, there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the state’s natural beauty than taking on one of its excellent hiking trails with the family. Now, a day on the trail can be strenuous for little legs and hikers with minimal experience. Not to worry! There are plenty of trails across the state suitable for all levels of skill—hiking trails that everyone in the family will enjoy. Here are five excellent hiking trails in the state. 

Indiana is considered a land-locked state, meaning there are no oceans nearby. While that may be true, Indiana does offer a beach bum’s paradise near Michigan called the Indiana Dunes State Park (or to most, Indiana Dunes or simply The Dunes). One of the best things about the Dunes is its abundance of hiking trails, especially of the family friendly variety. While some are labeled as more moderate or rugged, the easy hiking trails are highly accessible for the young ones. One of the easiest hiking trails in the area is three miles in length, and is truly whimsical during early spring. Hikers will be surrounded by beautiful flowers and ferns on this trek. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Laura Norris - Coach & Writer (@thisrunnersrecipes) on

Strawtown Koteewi Park is Hamilton County’s hidden gem. Located just to the east of Cicero, the park is 750 acres, and offers everything from hiking to cycling trails, trail riding for the equestrians (including pony rides for the little ones), as well as canoeing and archery. Everyone in the family will love this one. 

Nutty's Grand Adventure part 1

A post shared by 🌡courtney🌡 (@cpolicka) on

Another popular area to go hiking in Indiana is Brown County State Park, near Nashville, Indiana. Nicknamed “Little Smokies” because of its close resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains. Brown County State Park boasts 16,000 acres. The most popular time to visit Brown County is in the fall when the leaves change colors. During the summer though, visitors can hike or bike through the numerous trails, as well as take guided trail rides. For the family, check out the playgrounds and nature center, as well as the swimming pool! For lodging, try the Abe Martin Lodge which has motel rooms and cabins, as well as an indoor water park!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jéssica Fonseca (@jessicafons) on

Located in North Liberty, Indiana, Potato Creek State Park is about 12 miles southwest of South Bend. The park offers six different trail levels from beginner to advanced, as well as bicycle and mountain biking trails. The park also offers a swimming area, bridle trails, nature centers, and playgrounds. 

Clifty Falls is the place to be in the summer. Located in Madison, Indiana, Clifty Falls State Park features miles and miles of hiking trails and beautiful scenery throughout. A dedicated hiker’s dream is Clifty Falls. For the children, there is a swimming pool and waterslide as well as the nature center. 

]]>
Maridav/Shutterstock.com http://stepoutside.org/article/5-great-hiking-trails-in-indiana http://stepoutside.org/article/5-great-hiking-trails-in-indiana Mon, 29 Oct 2018 00:00:00 -0500